Stephen Capra, Bold Visions Conservation
I have been quiet for some time, the result of transitioning away from a job that I cared deeply about. My time with Footloose Montana were some of my best years, but nothing lasts forever. Now I am beginning a new chapter with my own organization-Bold Visions Conservation. I invite you to come along for the energy, fight and passion you have come to know is part of the soul I and those that work with me put into fighting for wildlife and wildlands.
You will see our vision over the coming weeks come into focus, but for now, here are a few thoughts that I wanted to share with you.
The one thing in Montana that has not changed with the end of the legislative session, is the reality that wildlife has just dodged a bullet, or perhaps a snare or trap. During the legislature I was able to cajole, testify and press legislators to stop Representative Paul Fielder’s madness known as SB-372.
That remains a win and a point of pride that few could have predicted, but it was the voice of the citizens of Montana that made that victory possible. Moving forward, we must find the means to stop the violence that is used against some of our most important and vulnerable wildlife. But realistically they will be back trying to turn Montana into a relic of the 1880's, filled with a madness towards wildlife that borders on mental illness.
Now the time has come to push forward on a clear agenda that works to end trapping in Montana, to stop the slaughter of wolves and other precious wildlife; to stop even the concept of killing grizzly bears, and allowing our legislature to be de facto mangers of our state's wildlife. There are also vital lands that need protection, and some of that may require the President’s use of the Antiquities Act, rather than depending on our legislators in Washington that do little to try and support wildlife or wilderness.
We must work to change the idea that trophy hunting and trapping have any legitimacy to push their agenda on our precious wildlife. If there is a constitutional amendment that should be passed it should read "the right to view and share the land, in co-existence with all native wildlife."
We must ask the following questions:
• How much longer are we going to be denied the chance to see wildlife in our forests and BLM lands? • How can we sanction the torture of wildlife in 2023? • Why are we allowing our legislature to manage wildlife when they have a radical anti-wildlife agenda? • Can we continue to allow the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to destroy vital habitat to important linkages for ill advised profiteering logging operations? • In a time of climate change and species extinction, are we simply going to allow the destruction of our wildlife, or are we going to demand a process that allows generations to come to enjoy and experience the wonder of all species in the wild?
There are many more questions in search of answers, but it is a start. What I know is that Bold Visions Conservation will be here to inform and fight for all that is wild. We will be a voice for wildlife, and a loud voice for change.
We just got our non-profit status, I will let you know our P.O. Box and announce our website in the weeks ahead.
Our name says it all, we will be Bold, strategic and ambitious in our efforts to protect the lands and wildlife that is vital for the future of all Montana's wildlife. Contact me at stephen@bvconservation,org
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